On Friday New York human rights lawyer, Chinyere Ezie, called out a display of $550 keychains in the Prada Soho store as modern examples of the racist American blackface tradition.
She took to Facebook and Twitter slating the fashion house for its racist tropes. After the issue blew up on social media, Prada pulled the keychains from the store, apologising and stating the trinkets were fantasy animals.
Prada responded to the backlash in a statement on Twitter saying: Group abhors racist imagery. The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface.
Ezie and other critics have illustrated the comparison of the keychains to the racist American blackface tradition popular in the 19th century, where white people would don theatrical make-up caricaturing black people in the spread of racial stereotypes, a means historically used to dehumanise black people.
[1/2] #Prada Group abhors racist imagery. The Pradamalia are fantasy charms composed of elements of the Prada oeuvre. They are imaginary creatures not intended to have any reference to the real world and certainly not blackface.— PRADA (@Prada) December 14, 2018
[2/] #Prada Group never had the intention of offending anyone and we abhor all forms of racism and racist imagery. In this interest we will withdraw the characters in question from display and circulation.— PRADA (@Prada) December 14, 2018
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This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Prada store pulls trinket eliciting racist blackface trope